We had a wonderful time this week with the Saputo Junior Chefs of 2014. These four young adults hail from across Canada; each hand chosen from a large number of entries. These particular four stood out to Saputo, and it's easy to see why. Not only did they each have their own unique background in food and food service, but collectively they create a larger picture of food in Canada - a snapshot of what is happening right now and where cuisine is headed in this fair country.
Alyssa, Tanita, Ian and Karolane were able to take a few minutes from their hectic Island tour to sit with us and discuss the impact and inspirations their two weeks of Island life and Island food culture has had on them. Chef Jonanthan and Darren were delighted to take in the perspective of these young hopefuls. Each one of them will make Fantastic Chefs in their own right.
Many thanks to the North Vancouver Chef's Association, the CCFCC and Saputo for hosting these bright young stars, and for their assistance in arranging this interview.
Chef Jonathan Frazier and co-host
Darren Howlett (both of Atlas Cafe), are so very excited to bring you the first in an all new series of culinary events for Edible Valley!
Edible Valley inaugural 3-course Tasting Series is being held Monday July 7, 6:30
pm at Studiolive! – 3962 Beaufort Ave on the corner of 1st and Beaufort in Cumberland. This Show will highlights the product from Abuelo
Tortillas – local manufacturers of hand-made organic corn tortillas. To begin
the evening’s menu a delicious Shrimp & artichoke dip compliments the balanced
spiciness of Abuelo’s jalapeno corn chips. A classic Mexican Black Bean Soup
garnished with shallow-fried blue corn tortilla strips is then followed by two
versions of Chef Jonathan's signature fresh fish tacos. The Edible Valley taste
adventure is enjoyed while sipping a uniquely authentic Mexican
The evening is an extension of what Chef Jonathan and Darren
produce in their Edible Valley Podcasts and Video Series. It’s a passionate
promotion of the abundant and diverse food culture found in the Comox Valley.
The atmosphere of The Edible Valley Tasting Series is casual, the culinary
experience delicious and informative. Throughout the interactive cooking demonstration and three course dinner, Chef Jonathan and
co-host Darren will be happy to answer questions and to discuss the local food
and flavors of the Comox Valley.
Tickets are $28. Seating
is very limited due to the intimate nature of the show. Tickets are available Friday, June 27th at
the Atlas Cafe. Thanks so much for your support - we look forward to seeing you there!
This week we had the great fortune of being able to sit down with Chris Graham to talk about his newest project, which is sure to revolutionize the Comox Valley's cuisine scene! It's called Communal Beat and it's all about food, entertainment and exploring in the Valley. We were able to get an advanced peak at the first issue, and it's incredible! Chock full of gorgeous imagery and familiar locations, peppered with some great feature articles, with a calendar smack dab in the centre - showing every festival, performance, gathering, special activity and food related event for the month. This will surely become a vital resource of the locals and tourists alike.
If you're wondering why the name of Chris Graham sounds familiar, it's because you remember him as a staple of the Farmer's Market. It's Chris, the Tamale Guy! If any of you have been wondering just where he went, or what happened to him - this is it! He's been hard at work to get this monthly magazine off the ground. We had a fantastic time sitting down with him, and found that we're kindred spirits - we're all motivated by this beautiful island we live on, the people that cultivate and nurture it, and want nothing more than to share it's abundance with everyone! Take a listen, and let us know what you think!
Darren and Jonathan sit down again to talk about events and what happening in the our Edible Valley.
Dawn McRae is passionate about food, and believes there is pleasure to be found in enjoying quality ingredients. We were lucky to have her sneak away from her busy life and sit down to talk with us about her company Custom Gourmet Catering. With over 17 years in the industry she has developed a personal cooking style that fuses international cuisines with her own West Coast flare.
"Whether it be for a large event, a special occasion, an intimate in-home dinner party or a customized cooking class, let Custom Gourmet create a personalized menu for you that reflects your needs and wants. It is all about making the event a unique dining experience for you and your guests," quotes her website.
Guests will enjoy such globally inspired flavours as Moroccan, Asian, Indian, African and Mediterranean, incorporating such spices as ras el hanout, star anise, chimichurri, onion seeds as well as plenty of fresh herbs. Locally produced, fresh organic foods, seafood and artisan products from the Comox Valley are also intertwined into her dishes whenever possible.
For more info contact Dawn at Custom Gourmet Catering
Do you ever wonder where your food comes from? What makes it so special? This week with our first studio audience we got a chance to talk to Gillian Watt from the BC association of abattoirs about BC Meats for BC Markets. We learned first of all BC does have a beef industry and a new BC beef net will allow local chefs the ability to buy BC beef. The program allows chefs to buy whole or half carcasses and have them process to there liking as well as giving a price per portion. With the North Vancouver Island Chef Association as our guests in studio we learned about the future of where our beef industry is going and how we will soon see local BC beef in many of our restaurants in our amazing province.
The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home and that is what the Taku resort is trying to do by bring in top notch chef to teach the wonders of food to their guests. We were luck enough to have Erin Rowsell come in and talk to us a little about the exciting things happening at the cookery. Taku cookery goal is to provide meaningful and inspiring hands-on culinary experiences with renowned Chefs that focus on local ingredients on beautiful Quadra Island, BC. Guest of up to 8 people are invited to participate in hands-on classes which have included French culinary weekends, Gourmet bread coarse Chocolate Indulgence and Flavours of India. Erin was excited to let us know about some of the upcoming course like February 22-23 Chef David Robertson from the Dirty Apron. For more info check out their website firstname.lastname@example.org or call reservations: 250.204.2121 toll free: 1.877.285.8258
Guest speaker Gaetane Palardy of Island Gourmet Trails discusses the extensive opportunities we have here in the valley to showcase food through food tourism. She walks us through what a tour with Island Gourmet Trails looks like, with the emphasis on visiting the valley from a foodie angle. They also take a peek at the cooking classes Gaetane offers, and what it means to meet local producers and taste local food through product, restaurants, and other activities around food in the valley.
Jon reviews the local products he showcased over the past weekend during the event “Delicious Downtown.”
Chef Jonathan Frazier and co-host Darren Howlett explore options for the new year and express some of the possibilities that can unfold in their new studio space - “Studio Live” in Cumberland. Looking ahead they intend to focus on interviews, to resurrect the “foodie news” which showcases local food events happening in the community, and to launch into you tube clips which will include cooking demonstrations. An emphasis on going back to the basics, the fundamentals of cooking, and looking ahead to working with the Chef’s Association and What the beef is in BC! “You never know where its going to go” says Jonathan.
They also review the past podcasts, which include nearly 50 episodes focused on all aspects of food including Chefs, cuisine, farmers, diet, the local market and even composting. A request for help from listeners to bring forward what they would like to listen to, and to anyone with a fresh idea they are working on.
Delicious treats followed Karen Pattison of Bite Sized Speciality Foods into the Edible Valley studio. A hobby turned full-time job, Karen has been offering pickled beans, asparagus and carrots, as well as a line of pepper jellies since 2006. Her product is found at various locations on Vancouver Island and as far away as Kamloops. Karen surprised us with some pickled treats, and some amazing samples of pepper jelly served with brie and rice crackers! Thank you Karen, it was great getting to know you.
Visit Bite Sized website: